I have heard so much about this series, that I am really glad that I finally read it. I like the setting and the theme of the book. Having a bookshop is a dream of mine, so this really appealed to me. The character of Max is outstanding. He draws you in on his own, even though it seems as though he is intended to be the sidekick to Annie, our protagonist, he definitely overshadows her. The mystery was well crafted. Being a “locked room” type of mystery, you had a limited list of suspects from the start. From that you could eliminate Max and Annie whittling down the list further. The book was written in 1987 and so the discussion of the writer’s technology at it related to the mystery was really quite funny to look back on now.
The issue I had, and I think this is just a personal problem for me ;p , was the name dropping of other authors and their books. It is constant throughout the book, even when they drink coffee there are references to the mugs with authors and books on them. I just found that this pulled me out of the story each time. If I didn’t remember a particular book or author, I needed to google it to find out about it. I think this is just me and the fact that I can’t stand not remembering something and having the technology at my fingertips makes it easy to look it up. It really was disruptive for me and made the book take much longer than it should have.
I probably will try another in the series to see if this decreases in subsequent books because everything else was very good. Interestingly, I just read another mystery that used the same device, A Killer Read, and it bothered me just as much in that book.